Murphy's Law: The Past Usually Catches Up


September 15, 2016: American intelligence efforts against ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in the last year has concentrated on capturing as many enemy documents as possible to find out what was going on inside that organization. For those who have been looking at captured Islamic terrorist documents since 2001 (when a lot of al Qaeda headquarters documents were captured) ISIL is having the same administrative problems al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was dealing with fifteen years ago. In ISIL leaders are trying to cope with a lot of corruption and inefficiency among subordinates. This includes things like regularly falsifying expense requests and pocket the money non-existent expenditures. Many apparently got away with this and even executing some of the thieves didn’t stop the fraud.

Islamic terrorist organizations have a lot of expenses you rarely year about, like regular pay for most full time members and death benefits for the families of men killed in action. This was especially true of suicide bombers, who were always difficult and expensive to recruit. Promising volunteers generous payments to their families helped. This became yet another opportunity to steal. Some ISIL leaders in charge of suicide bomber recruiting would regularly claim suicide bombers lost in action but who never existed. These leaders would simply pocket the compensation cash and, at most, create false documents to prove that someone died for the cause and his family was rewarded. Al Qaeda began, and perhaps still does, sometimes send out trusted senior people to conduct audits. ISIL tried that, with the same limited success.

The current ISIL leadership includes a lot of former al Qaeda men or trained officials and military officers who served Saddam Hussein. They joined Islamic terror groups after Saddam was overthrown in 2003 and applied their professional skills and corrupt habits to the service of al Qaeda. These leader apparently tried various techniques to control the corruption but they already knew that the culture (Middle Eastern Islam) that produced Islamic terrorists has been producing corrupt officials far longer and in much larger numbers. You can’t escape your cultural past, when telling the world you trying to replace it with something better.


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